Featured Blog Posts – November 2009 Archive (58)

Julie & Julia...a movie review and a lot less...(surprise bonus included!)

I have to confess, I have never been a huge fan of Julia Child. It's not that I ever had any issues with her personally, she just wasn't my 'thing'. I now realize that this was probably a mistake. I should have made her my thing. My bad!



As a young and aspiring gourmet cook in my teens, I was more interested in Chef Martin Yan's Cooking Show, Yan Can Cook.

http://www.yancancook.com/tvshows.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Yan



I could actually watch his… Continue

Added by Steve Paterson on November 6, 2009 at 1:31pm — 5 Comments

Cheesy Dairy Market Concerns

The chart of the week is the international cheddar and the CME block cheese markets. US cheese inventories are historically ample and September US cheese output was 4% larger than the previous year. Still, the cheese markets are moving higher. Actually, basically all of the dairy markets are moving upward. The first major culprit is the decline in US milk output. The trade is anticipating a decrease in the available supply of dairy products in the coming months. But another major reason is due… Continue

Added by David Maloni on November 6, 2009 at 11:49am — No Comments


Operator
The P.I.A Equation: 3 Ways To Lower Vendor Pricing



Do you know what determines the pricing you receive from your primary food vendors? Surely it’s some complicated algorithm that takes purchasing volume, average delivery size and location and then performs some mathematical magic and determines exactly what your pricing is….right? Right?



Well yes and no. All of these factors play a part in your pricing, but the most important aspect of your pricing structure is your sales representative. Most sales reps won’t admit to… Continue

Added by beingthechef on November 5, 2009 at 5:02pm — No Comments

Downturn strategy

This section will outline the best ways to keep your restaurant running during a downturn. Your expenses have increased, the guests have decreased and thousands of jobs have been lost in the industry.



So, revaluating your options is a very wise way to be on the top of your game.



1. Rethink your original business plan using a SWOT analysis.

2. Examine your P&L in detail.

3. Save anywhere you can. Look for discounts from suppliers and watch food costs… Continue

Added by Massimo Montone on November 5, 2009 at 1:07pm — No Comments

DAWG Talk: Do You OODA?



Every day, we are confronted with situations that require us to make decisions. Some decisions are easy. Some are not. Yet, each day we face the world not knowing what we’ll have to decide.



It’s a challenge that I suspect doesn’t get much thought. We tend to develop “I’ll take it as it comes” attitudes. Some folks hide under the guise of an “I can handle anything” mentality. Others are a bit more prepared, and work to develop… Continue

Added by David Rose on November 5, 2009 at 5:59am — No Comments


Non-Operator
Bar staff run above average risk of death by drink or murder



According to CatererSearch.com, male and female bar owners, bar workers and male caterers, cooks and kitchen porters all have an above average risk of dying from alcohol abuse in the UK.



This was the key finding of a new study on occupational mortality in England and Wales during the 1990s, produced by Professor David Coggon of Southampton University and published jointly by the… Continue

Added by Barry Chandler on November 5, 2009 at 1:51am — No Comments

Exit interview

There is much information to gain from an employee who is leaving your organization. An exit interview is conducted to ascertain why someone is leaving your organization and their observations of the workplace.



Use an exit interview as an opportunity to get to learn about how your workplace is perceived, as these lessons might be transferable to other staff.



Do not avoid the process just because you may be afraid of criticism, or lack the time. Remember that feedback is… Continue

Added by Massimo Montone on November 4, 2009 at 1:11pm — 1 Comment


Operator
Confessions of A Job Hopping Chef





Oh no! I am a job hopper.



While I was working on a background page for my website, I started to realized that a quick glace at my resume would label me a job hopper. I hate the label “Job Hopper”, mainly because I never felt that I portrayed any of the characteristics of the stereotypical hopper. I have never been fired, been socially or mentally unbalanced, and I’ve never left a position because I wasn’t capable of doing the job. I have left every single… Continue

Added by beingthechef on November 4, 2009 at 12:20pm — No Comments

How A Marshmallow Can Help Predict the Future Success of Your Business

There was a study done in the 1960’s by researchers at Stanford University called the Marshmallow Test, led by psychologist Walter Mischel.



Researchers gave children an option – have a marshmallow or cookie, for example – right now or wait while the researcher left the room for 15 minutes and they could have two.



Obviously the test was used to determine self-discipline and the need for instant gratification.



The study found that only 30 per cent of the group of… Continue

Added by Terri Hitchcock on November 4, 2009 at 12:10pm — No Comments

Not responsible for libelous postings by third parties

by Jo Anne Rosenblum

jrosenblum@kingballow.com

INTERNET LIBEL



The Communications Decency Act protects Web site forum providers from liability based on potentially libelous postings by third parties to the Web site. For liability to attach to the Web site provider, the provider must have some responsibility for making the statements at issue. In a case from Missouri, an individual and company filed a complaint in a state court in Missouri against a Web site owner and… Continue

Added by Stanley E. Roberts on November 4, 2009 at 8:18am — 1 Comment

Toss the Box. Two Strategies for Sales Traction

Toss the box. With so many choices these days, how does your brand stand out? What is it about your restaurant or brand that screams, “I’m different, so try me”?

Running a business today takes advanced management skills. To succeed you’ve got to want it bad to. It’s so fiercely competitive and overly complex that merely executing well isn’t enough. When I hear managers say things like “flat is the new up”, or “we are only down 10% year over year, but we also have more competition” I wonder… Continue

Added by Michael L. Atkinson on November 3, 2009 at 7:42pm — 3 Comments

Implementing change

Remember, if you continue to use the same methods you will get the same results. Commitment to change is essential. Think about your current position, where you would like to be, and the actions required to move forward. Define what it is that needs to change and how change can help your business, yourself and your team.



How to manage change effectively



• Make sure that everyone involved understands why things need to change.

• Show why and how things will be… Continue

Added by Massimo Montone on November 3, 2009 at 1:29pm — No Comments

A server's web 3.0 manifesto

We may wear a uniform, but we're far from being conformists. We are more than our job, our restaurant, and our title. We are people with dreams, talent, ambition, and ideas. We are a force. Someday, we will run our own businesses, sell our own products, and manage our own customers.





But, for now, we work for you. We sell your dream, your vision, and your food. Make no mistake. We are honing our skills, learning new concepts, and establishing ourselves as professionals. We are… Continue

Added by Michael Biesemeyer on November 2, 2009 at 8:56pm — 9 Comments


Non-Operator
Sounds Like The Perfect Customer To Me!

The billionaire Chelsea Football Club owner in England, Roman Abramovich was alleged to have racked up an impressive $45,000 bill for lunch at Nello’s Italian restaurant in New York by drinking a selection of the finest champagnes and wines and dining on truffles and veal.



Restaurant owner Nello Balan made the bill public, commenting on how Mr Abramovich was a man after “excellence and perfection” and a delighted waiter told how staff high-fived each other in the kitchen at their… Continue

Added by Barry Chandler on November 2, 2009 at 5:51pm — 2 Comments


Non-Operator
Chain Restaurant Earnings: Some Gaining Traction

Thus far in Q3 2009 earnings season, most of the chain restaurants have delivered “good” earnings results: generally negative sales comp results, favorable commodity and other cost reductions and as a result meeting EPS expectations.



Food commodity market conditions have been favorable, with price decreases tracking to weak demand. So long as the companies aren’t too far out in their contracting, and playing the generally favorable spot market conditions (one notable exception was… Continue

Added by John A. Gordon on November 2, 2009 at 10:33am — No Comments

Cooking with Integrity

I face the same challenges as most chefs: serving foods that are of the highest quality, “yummy tasting” (as our executive sous chef puts it), interesting, and have high customer demand while producing a profit.



I am also a consumer and frequent restaurants just like anyone else. People who know me would be shocked if I didn’t find some level of discontent when dining out. My biggest complaints are that foods are often not hot, menu… Continue

Added by Chef Len Elias CEC on November 2, 2009 at 7:00am — No Comments


Non-Operator
How To Wow Children In Your Restaurant. Hint: Happy Kids=Happy Parents



The importance of catering for children is often underestimated in today’s hospitality establishments. Few owners realize that children make the decision on the choice of establishment one third of the time and they influence the decision ninety percent of the time which means in any language that children are worthy of looking after.



Children are all too often seen as a nuisance and only a noisy pest that comes along with adults… Continue

Added by Barry Chandler on November 2, 2009 at 1:12am — No Comments

12 Ways to Shake up a Boring Business

We asked our web members for their ‘instant facelift’ experiences and received some great suggestions. Most cost time rather than money, with an extra serve of energy - any that you could use?

* Most customers arrive as singles or couples. So our tables were larger than needed - we replaced some with small round tops, and cut others down. We now have 6 more tables in the same space which gives us more sales at peak times. Why did we wait so long?!?

* Ditch the tired…

Continue

Added by Ken Burgin on November 1, 2009 at 2:01am — No Comments

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CROWD FUNDING

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TED TALKS VIDEO

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Inspired by biological design and self-organizing systems, artist Heather Barnett co-creates with physarum polycephalum, a eukaryotic microorganism that lives in cool, moist areas. What can people learn from the semi-intelligent slime mold? Watch this talk to find out.

TED: Shih Chieh Huang: Sculptures that’d be at home in the deep sea - Shih Chieh Huang (2014)

When he was young, artist Shih Chieh Huang loved taking toys apart and perusing the aisles of night markets in Taiwan for unexpected objects. Today, this TED Fellow creates madcap sculptures that seem to have a life of their own—with eyes that blink, tentacles that unfurl and parts that light up like bioluminescent sea creatures.

TED: Nikolai Begg: A tool to fix one of the most dangerous moments in surgery - Nikolai Begg (2013)

Surgeons are required every day to puncture human skin before procedures — with the risk of damaging what's on the other side. In a fascinating talk, find out how mechanical engineer Nikolai Begg is using physics to update an important medical device, called the trocar, and improve one of the most dangerous moments in many common surgeries.

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